Do all auroras occur in circles?

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Do the formation of auroras always occur in circles/ovals/ellipses?? What causes the shape of their formation?
 

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  • #2
phinds
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Do the formation of auroras always occur in circles/ovals/ellipses?? What causes the shape of their formation?
I've never heard of auroras occurring in geometrically regular shapes. What makes you think they do? Have you ever looked at pictures of them? Did you see any geometrically regular shapes?
 
  • #3
anorlunda
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I think he means as seen from space.

Yes they do. See the attached picture.

1485128300129.png
 
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  • #4
phinds
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I think he means as seen from space.
Ah. Good point. I've never seen them from space :smile:
 
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  • #5
anorlunda
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I should have said mostly circular, not all circular.
 
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anorlunda
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Even cooler, this picture is an aurora on Saturn
1485129701931.png
 
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Would it be safe to say that the viewed circular ionized particles follow the concentric concentration of magnetic lines of the planet poles and hence more flux density, visuals, closer to the poles?
 
  • #9
Khashishi
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The Earth's magnetic field is very similar to a bar magnet. Ions (such as from the solar wind, or other cosmic events) are confined to magnetic field lines by the Lorentz force, which causes them to gyrate around magnetic field lines. The ions are guided by the magnetic field lines to the poles of the Earth, where the magnetic field lines penetrate the Earth's atmosphere.
 

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